The main opposition party’s chief, Nawaz Sharif, held his ground on Thursday, insisting he would not go to “jail or Jeddah” and those trying to make him do so should “stop dreaming”.
“I assure them, I will not go to any of these places. I request them to give up,” said the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief, while addressing the media at the residence of former Sindh chief minister Liaquat Ali Jatoi.
Earlier in the day, Nawaz had also referred to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) cases reopened against him. “You all know who was instrumental in opening the cases against us,” he said without disclosing any names.
Nawaz added that the Sindh card being used by President Asif Ali Zardari is losing its credibility and urged him to avoid underestimating any political party.
“People will prove in the next elections who the true representative of this country is. I assure you that the PML-N is now emerging as a big political force in the country,” he said.
When asked about possible allies of his government if the PML-N came into power, he said: “Please do not ask me about the [Muttahida Qaumi Movement]; we will decide at the time who is a better ally to make a government”.
Meanwhile, talking to reporters at the Karachi airport, the PML-N chief vowed to bring economic revolution in the country – if given the chance to come into power. Nawaz said that following the “atomic blast” in his last tenure, his party’s next government would carry out an “economic blast”.
He further said that the government had put Sindh under the influence of “opportunist” landlords. “Look at the infrastructure of Sindh; it has collapsed. I have come to promise to make Sindh a strong province, at par with Punjab where the writ of the law prevails,” he said.
Nawaz criticised coalition partners of the government and held them responsible for the worsening law and order in Karachi. “If they were politically mature they would focus on public issues, but unfortunately they are minting the public wealth,” he said.
The PML-N chief ruled out any chances of the army taking over, and criticized sections of the media for creating hype and initiating a campaign to appease “some quarters”.
“These anchor persons are acting on someone’s agenda by receiving money and initiating propaganda rather than highlighting genuine issues,” he said. Nawaz also recited a poem of Sufi saint Shah Latif Bhittai and prayed for the people of Pakistan.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 20th, 2012.